by Toluwanimi Onakoya
Increasing fears are spreading through the hearts of Nigerians due to the exponential rise in COVID19 cases. Despite the prior month-long lockdown, daily reported Coronavirus active cases and deaths haven’t stalled and are in fact gaining much more momentum.
Just last week, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported the highest number of cases, in a day with Lagos alone recording 345 cases. More and more complaints of Nigerians with coronavirus symptoms who are ignorantly self-diagnosing it as a new strain of malaria have raised even more concerns. This is why it was utterly surprising for Nigerians when news of Naira Marley and Kim Oprah hosted a music concert was reported.
Despite the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases, singer Naira Marley performed on stage at a concert with massive attendance by other Covidiots in Nigeria's capital city Abuja.
— Naija Viralz (@NaijaViralz) June 14, 2020
The concert was slated for Saturday night and was intended to be a drive-by concert was hosted specifically by former Big Brother Naija contestant, Kim Oprah and Naira Marley was invited to perform. The concert was reported by Nigerians to have been put together by Play Network Africa, Traffic Bar, El’Carnival and sponsored by Glenfiddich. Silverbird Entertainment Centre was also reported to be the venue with Nairabox and Ariiya selling the tickets.
This unfortunate concert by Naira Marley was put together by Play Network Africa, Traffic Bar, El'Carnival and was proudly sponsored by Glenfiddich.
Silverbird Entertainment Centre was the venue while Nairabox and Ariiya sold the tickets.
There, you have your Covidiots! https://t.co/A8K347Vfy8
— Demola Of Lagos (@OmoGbajaBiamila) June 14, 2020
In spite of the claims that it was a drive-by concert, it sparked alarm as the concert video that made way to the internet, showed people in clusters and without protection such as facemasks or hand gloves.
Nigerians were also confounded as to how Naira Marley and Kim Oprah were able to get to Abuja since they were spotted in Lagos just last week. The Lagos State Government as other State Governments had instituted an inter-state travel ban to curb the coronavirus spread and it is still in place, making the journey of the celebrities a surprise for many.
I know Naira Marley stays in Lagos and not Abuja. How did he fly to Abuja when there’s still a travel ban in Nigeria?
— Mazi Olisaemeka C. ™ (@OlisaOsega) June 14, 2020
They restricted inter state travel yet Naira Marley still found a way to teleport himself and his team from Lagos to Abuja ??
— E-zrael Ani (@EzraelAni) June 14, 2020
While some claimed that Naira Marley and Kim Oprah should face the music of the law and be prosecuted, others declared that public government officials flouted the rules repeatedly and no repercussions were brought to them, hence the celebrities should be left alone.
You want the government that constantly breaks their own rules to arrest Naira Marley for breaking their rules…?
— Engineer Tolu Tezzy_ ? (@tolutezzy_) June 14, 2020
Why should Naira Marley (who seem to like so much walaha) be arrested again when we watched on TV how several government officials who work with the president flout the lockdown rules and nothing happened to them? The Aisha Buhari issue is also about an SA flying around.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) June 14, 2020
Still, the thoughts of those who attended the concert were called into question. Were they not worried for their lives? Do they think COVID-19 is faux? These were some of the questions posed by Nigerians on Twitter; placing specific blame on the attendees of the concert.
Naira Marley did not force anybody to attend the concert. what is the work of FCT Authorities ???. The organizer should be hold responsible for this action!!!
— Sinzu Kobz ❼ (@Mistakobz) June 14, 2020
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks